Most people avoid online shopping due to mistrust (in the provider/store) or lack of working debit cards. While, we’ll deal with trust in another post; lets venture into the world of virtual prepaid cards and regular prepaid debit cards.
The concept of online shopping has increased by many folds in the recent years, and it is an integral part of the global economy. Many people, though, still cannot shop online due to restrictions placed on them based on their location. Namely, many people cannot order products from certain websites because Pakistan is not supported by that site’s shipping services, or perhaps their bank still does not support online payments.
We have already covered in detail how one can get a parcel forwarding address in order to get the items anywhere in the world but now its time to focus on a payment solution to go with your new address.
Virtual debit cards and Virtual Prepaid Cards are becoming a necessity in the online marketplace. The internet has many dangers including scam virtual debit card sites such as Cliffscard and Safepay. Below is a list of the best virtual and prepaid debit card services out there.
How Virtual Prepaid Cards Work
Virtual debit card providers offer prepaid debit cards that can be accepted globally. Once you sign up with these services, you have to go through a verification process. Getting verified is not very difficult or lengthy especially if you have your smartphone nearby. They ask for certain documents to verify & check you are indeed a registered citizen with a valid residential address, contact number and a bank account or not. Once the documents are verified, you are a free to use your own money via their virtual debit cards.
How? Well you simply have to upload your funds via their allowed methods which can be local bank transfer, wire transfer, Credit/Debit card etc. and then wait for the money to get topped up in your card. After that you can use your virtual prepaid card on any website to purchase anything.
Now for the list of Virtual Prepaid Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards
A very good card for internet use from MCB. The MCB Lite is a prepaid Visa card, enabled for internet payments for local and international transactions. The card is free to signup and use; meaning there is no loading fee or monthly service fees attached to it. There is an annual fee of PKR 300 on all MCB Lite plans though which is a reasonable amount.
Speaking of plans, every new account/card starts at MCB Lite 0 which has an annual limit of PKR 200,000 (deposit & withdrawal). Once you visit a MCB Lite branch and submit some documents, you can upgrade to Lite 1 and Lite 2 for free. Full charges and limits are clearly defined however, they make no mention of the FX charges on foreign currency transactions. Thankfully, one doesnt need to be an MCB account holder to get this card. Though you can avail all the facilities of holding a bank account. From paying utility bills and mobile top ups to sending money to other account holders within MCB network and outside of it via IBFT.
Recently, MCB has enabled the Lite account to receive remittances directly into the mobile wallet. This makes it one of the best & most powerful prepaid cards in the market today. Some of these remittance providers include: Xpress Money, UAE Exchange, MoneyGram, Transfast, EZRemit, Ria,and ACE etc. Also, did we mention that this is a full fledged mobile wallet with its own app? Its not the best with mediocre reviews however, it beats not having any insight into account balance and relying only on text messages and ATM machines.